Web3 is an important technological area in the corporate sector. Should the ordinary business spend time comprehending and implementing Web3’s complex layers of very technical ideas and technologies? Is it substantial and inevitable enough to necessitate coordinated investment and innovation now?
Web3 networks are open and decentralized networks based on blockchain layers that use tokens for collaboration and incentive alignment. We see this as distinct from existing conversations about the metaverse, which includes AR/VR components to improve end-user internet experiences. Web3 not only educates whole verticals and industries but also automates the fundamental technological stack of organizations, even those previously regarded as disruptors. It will become an important approach to how our IT systems operate.
On the other hand, decentralization is a big industry trend that more digital customers and enterprises will demand. Instead of keeping data in our databases and executing code in areas of the cloud that we pay for or otherwise control, organizations will have to adapt to depending on Web3 resources (data, compute, etc.) and sharing greater control. Much of the critical data we need to run our organizations will be maintained in more private and secure locations, such as blockchain and other distributed ledgers.
Over time, a growing proportion of our apps will be more analogous to open-source projects, with smart contracts that all stakeholders can publicly inspect, verify, and agree to. Even our enterprises will have bizarre new subsidiaries embodied in code and run autonomously on digital inputs from stakeholders (the new active shareholders in the Web3 world).
This is only the start. Web3’s cryptographic technologies and immutable transaction ledgers have proven themselves and shown the way forward. While decentralization is far from the only way technology will progress (the technology universe is easily wide enough to allow multiple great revolutions at once), it is increasingly proving to be a fundamental revolution. Web3 talks directly about changing the fundamental concepts and key technologies that power our enterprises, from information technology (IT) to customer experience to business models and management structures.
When traditional organizations identify a road to new revenue development potential, they will adopt Web3: new products, new business models, new client segments, new regions, new sales strategies, and new labour structures. New business models are traditionally offered initially by disruptive startups and then adopted by companies as technology improves.
Today, Web3-focused hackathons and accelerators are where new ideas are formed and fostered. These hackathons, many of which are sponsored by specific blockchains, foster cooperation and creativity among blockchain-native enterprises. These organizations are led by ad hoc technical teams that develop “projects” or software that can become businesses.
Bitcoin, NFT (non-fungible token), P2E (Play-to-Earn) business model, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger (DLT), Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets, dApps (Decentralized Applications), and DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) are a few instances of early Web3 adoptions by enterprises.
The infrastructure for these consumer applications is rapidly evolving. Crypto exchanges (Coinbase, Binance) are available to the general public, facilitate the purchasing and selling digital coins for fiat money, and allow the purchase and sale of NFTs. Trades between digital currencies are permitted. These exchanges serve as liquidity hubs for digital native transactions. To let customers quickly search, identify, purchase, and exchange tokens, marketplaces like OpenSea have emerged.
End-user applications are frequently the focus of the first successful use cases in new technology areas, leading to broad acceptance. This is consistent with the trajectory of AI adoption. The first significant usage of AI in the business world occurred in firms such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, which collected vast quantities of user data and utilized it to power recommendation engines and enhance engagement with each company’s content (e.g., ads for Google or movies for Netflix).
The Web3 startup culture will produce vast new enterprises that will control the planet. Early enterprise adopters can capture a share of that. To protect the integrity of the systems, prevent co-opting by one large entity, and secure systems that handle increasing amounts of financial transactions (the total market cap of crypto is in the hundreds of billions of dollars), the depth and complexity of the underlying technologies will necessitate a longer and greater than usual adoption effort for emerging technology.
Web3 is purposefully designed to take more work for corporations to acquire control over or direct. But the potential is undeniably there, as long as companies are ready to relinquish some control, which, as I’ve previously stated, is a fundamental rule of digital systems. Web3 is a distributed ecosystem approach to digital, with a seat at the table for everyone who wants it. It will likely lead to one of the most daring digital experiences ever, if not the most promising. Now is the time to investigate.